Defender Walter Ventura is 31 years old and is on the 18th team of his career, which is Puntarenas FC, from the Second Division of Costa Rica. Brazilian, he is one of those players known as football wanderers, who run for different clubs and countries with short contracts and without establishing too many roots. There have already been five Brazilian states and five different countries — from one of them, it carries an unusual story to tell.
Between June and December 2018, the Brazilian played for Al-Merrikh, a team from Sudan. The curious thing is how he got there, following an invitation from the team’s coach on Facebook. “A Tunisian coach named Yamen Zalfani contacted me through the social network when he took over the club, we talked, the values were good, it was a new experience and I ended up accepting. We did pre-season in Dubai and everything,” he says, before completing:
“I still don’t know how my best shots video got into the hands of this coach [risos]. He’s young, but he already has a name there. Received, became interested and found me on Facebook. It was all very fast. I was in Brazil after finishing the State by Operário de Dourados-MS and in two days I traveled to Africa, in a country I never thought of visiting. It was a good experience and I would even go back, but then I had a good proposal from Guatemala.”
The passage through Al-Merrikh was the only one that started in such an unusual way. Most of the moves take place in a more conventional way, with business people working, sending videos with bids to managers, contacts or referrals from coaches with whom he has already worked. This is the case with the current experience in Costa Rica.
“In 2017, I played at a club in Costa Rica called Limón. I arrived there with the approval of a manager and I only stayed for three months because there was a problem with the contract. But I created a good relationship with the coach Horacio Esquivel. He arrived this year at Puntarenas and got in touch with me and other Limón players he already knew. I’ve been here since the start of the pre-season in July and we’ve already played six rounds. There are eight teams in the group, four qualify and today we are fourth,” he explains.
The contract is for six months, but Walter Ventura wants to extend his period of stay in the country because he feels at ease: “I’m in a first-rate team that is on Monday, but the project is going up. I’ve always liked Central America, it’s mine. third passage. Their culture is similar to Brazil, the people are receptive, there’s also everything about food. It’s like the Northeast, a beach town where it’s almost not cold. My goal now is to have a good championship here, gain access and settle down a little more for the first time [risos].”
In Brazil, Walter played in São Paulo (Comercial de Registro and AD Guarulhos), Tocantins (Interporto), Mato Grosso do Sul (Serc, Comercial and Operário, Rio Grande do Norte (Palmeira) and Pernambuco (Petrolina, Araripina, Flamengo de Arcoverde , Pesqueira and Vitória das Tabocas.) He had already been abroad, in addition to Costa Rica and Sudan, to Guatemala, Croatia and Kosovo, always on short contracts full of uncertainty.
“Football is very uncertain. You have contracts for a few months and you don’t know where you’ll be the next day. I got this call from Costa Rica on Tuesday to travel Friday and I went because it’s my profession. You think about having a life more comfortable, but it’s very difficult. As God opens the doors, I go.”